Pneumatic systems use pressurized air or gas for operating motors, cylinders, and other mechanical parts of different sorts of machines. They’re especially useful for generating power through compressed air in order to operate machines in factories and commercial setups. Their usage may range from the healthcare industry and home systems, to construction work and the automotive industry.
As useful as pneumatic system applications are, though, they’re susceptible to the following issues, which can create hurdles and result in system failure.
Generation of Moisture
Moisture and pneumatic systems do not go together. The presence of moisture can severely compromise the compressed quality and create a number of problems.
Once moisture seeps into the system, it causes corrosion internally. The effects aren’t always immediate and can take up weeks or months to become noticeable. The corroded material eventually gets pushed toward other parts of the system and becomes dislodged. This can cause the spools to get stuck in the control valves, or result in a malfunction of the pressure control or the directional control valves.
The trouble with moisture in a pneumatic system is that it can be generated from various places. The compressor, fluid conductors, and production lines can all contribute to the presence of moisture, which then ultimately results in system failure.
Presence of Foreign Particles
Compressed air quality is also affected by the presence of particles within the pneumatic system. These particles can penetrate the system from various entry points. For instance, they may enter through unclean compressor filters, be created through the normal production process, or even be self-generated. The latter happens when the components within the system begin to wear out, resulting in unwanted particles being generated as a by-product.
So, why are these particles such a nuisance?
It’s because they’re able to flow through the conductors without any hindrance. If your pneumatic system doesn’t have a strong filtration unit in place, these will then accumulate in the seals. This can cause premature failures and score within the system.
Dry (Unlubricated) Air Entering the System
Although this isn’t as common an issue as the aforementioned problems, unlubricated air can also affect the compressed air quality. This especially happens when the soft parts within the pneumatic system are pre-lubricated. The problem arises when the lubrication is washed off because of the moisture also entering the system, thus exposing the components to dry air. As a result, the seal dries out and may crack. This, in turn, causes the system to slow down or malfunction.
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